PhD scholarship in Safety and Security Risks for Cyber-Physical Systems

DTU Management Engineering
Thursday 30 Mar 17

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Apply no later than 15 May 2017
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DTU Management Engineering invites applicants for a 3-year PhD position starting as soon as possible and at the latest 1 September 2017. The project will be based at DTU’s Engineering Systems Division and is part of the division’s research in the field of management of engineering risks and innovation safety in the context of digitalisation. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and will lead to a Double Doctorate Degree by DTU and NTNU. While having DTU Management Engineering as the home institution, the PhD student will spend a significant amount of time (approximately one year) at NTNU.  

This PhD project will be closely linked to a related PhD project hosted by NTNU. Both PhD projects constitute a DTU-NTNU tandem project that will investigate different methods to make holistic and cost-effective risk analyses of cyber-physical systems heavily dependent on new information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Cyber-physical systems are characterised by their highly complex multi-layered nature, where software, hardware, humans, multiple interfaces, and technical components are deeply interwoven and where failures and threats can propagate from one layer to another. Manufacturing (Industry 4.0), transportation, energy production and distribution, healthcare and banking are all the sectors that have adopted and make extensive use of new ICTs. This results in a noticeable trend in the development of modern engineering systems: from being physical and socio-technical into cyber-physical systems. The safety and security risk management of these systems requires significant improvements in order to achieve the same level of results as in traditional industries.

The PhD project hosted by DTU will focus on (1) the development of a systematic approach to the identification of cascading safety and security risks propagating from one layer to another; (2) testing its predictive power and (3)validating its performance. One or two companies heavily dependent on digitalisation of information processing and control will be selected for collaboration. Understanding the subject area(s) in detail, applying and testing the developed solutions will be core parts of the work. The specific subject area(s) can be selected fitting the background of the student.

The Engineering Systems Division is growing fast and is characterised by collegial, energetic staff and strong research collaboration with leading universities and industrial companies worldwide. Our research focuses on understanding and improving the ways in which engineering systems are designed, managed, and operated throughout their life cycles. Research in the group spans the boundaries of engineering, management and the related policy and strategy processes. We develop methods and tools for companies and public institutions to be more effective in their design, operation, change and strategic guidance of engineering systems.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student will be responsible for liaising with NTNU’s research project while focusing on the following tasks:

  • Reviewing and suggesting a set of diagrammatic system representations that can form the basis for trustworthy identification of cascading safety and security risks in cyber-physical systems;
  • Identifying the pathways of risk propagation and adapting/developing methods for their identification;
  • Testing and validating the usability of the suggested risk identification approach and coupled to it diagrammatic system models;
  • Comparing the predictive power of the developed method to its counterpart developed by NTNU and consolidating the methods.

Candidates should be highly motivated and hold a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Some of the following areas are the prerequisite qualifications: computing, ICT, data processing, software development or similar.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Igor Kozine and Professor Anja Maier.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.


  • DTU Lyngby Campus; Denmark
  • NTNU Trondheim Campus, Norway(appr. 1 year)

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Igor Kozine, tel.: +45 4525 4548 or  

You can read more about the Engineering Systems Division on   

Please submit your online application no later than 15 May 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application, including your research activities and ideas for the research project (cover letter, max 3 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and copies of your original BSc/MSc diploma, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their official translation into English
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • Two reference contacts who may be contacted by the assessment committee

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimisation of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models and methods. Through our research and teaching we ensure an innovative, competitive and sustainable organisation and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 340 employees; including an academic staff of 190 and more than 70 PhD students. More than 20 % of our employees are from abroad and in all 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.